Detroit Tigers State Of The Union For 2016
Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst) Follow @chuckbooth3024
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The Detroit Tigers are getting older by the second. The recent Free Agent signings of Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe and Jarrod Saltalamacchia – coupled with the acquisitions of Cameron Maybin, Justin Wilson, Francisco Rodriguez have just furthered the ticking time bomb of father time.
It actually is pretty fair, but the difference comes down to Cespedes. The Bullpen may be a lot stronger as well. Simon and Avila is favorable to Saltalamacchia and Pelfrey.
Rodriguez, Lowe and Wilson compares to Soria and Albuquerque and Gorzelanny strongly.
Price and Zimmermann is at least comparable, with Price maybe holding a slight edge, but not at an extension of $107 MIL over 2 years better. Value wise, the Tigers may have the better long term deal.
So with this in mind, the 2016 club is not better on paper yet.
I also am one of the people who really think the team should re-sign Cespedes to complete the offseason).
Victor Martinez struggled in 2015, but he also rallied around the last time he had an injury plagued year, when he came back from his broken leg in 2012.
With the team at a payroll of $175 MIL already it is a bleak prognostication towards the future. The core of the club is well over the age of 30
Victor Martinez, 37. V-Mart will really need to pick up from his 2015 season – where he 3 slashed .245/.301/.366 in his worst year since 2009. It was only 2014 where he held a .967 OPS and led the American League with a .409 OBP.
The Tigers will need his Batting Average to be in the .280 – .300 range, and also hope he is capable of bashing 50 Extra Base Hits. I mean that is what they are paying him for as a DH.
Really, the Tigers are also paying a stipend of Prince Fielder‘s contract at $6 MIL per year for the next 5 seasons. Maybe the club would have been better just having kept Fielder instead of Martinez. The two contracts of V-Mart and Fielder equal about what the big man makes anyway.
Mike Aviles, 35. This guy has never really been league average for anything since leaving KC. At least there he held .734 OPS. He hasn’t even topped that mark since 2010. Hopefully Castellanos, Kinsler and Iglesias all keep healthy and limit his AB in 2016.
Ian Kinsler, 34. This guy has been what is advertised in Motown. He has scored 190 Runs, clubbed 114 Extra Base Hits and driven in 165 RBI in his 2 years for Detroit. These are above average marks for the position of Second Base.
Kinsler’s .748 OPS mark is a little bit his career average of .791, but his Batting Average at .285 is better. He is just not walking as much, That is okay when you have Cabrera and Martinez in the same lineup, if both are doing their jobs.
Francisco Rodriguez, 34. K-Rod had a renaissance back in Milwaukee the last few years, and is the current active leader for Saves ALL – Time with 386 of them. Rodriguez has Saved 82 games over the last 2 seasons, and both campaigns saw WHIP’s of under 1.
Lets hope that the curse of Detroit Relievers doesn’t catch up to him let it has with Joe Nathan, and to a lesser extent Joakim Soria.
Miguel Cabrera, 33. I still think Miggy can contend for the American League Batting Title, club 25 HRs, add 40 or sou Doubles, and drive in and score 100 Runs.
The man has a 3 Slash with Detroit of .326./.406/.574 with Detroit for his career – although I figure some of home run power must have been sapped with his injuries over the last 2 years.
Justin Verlander, 33. I think the Cy Young version of JV has ended, but maybe he can wharf into a great #2 pitcher. I believe 12 – 14 wins and 180 IP per season should be considered a success in the coming years.
Mark Lowe, 33. Decent Relief guy that will fill the role vacated by the departed Albuquerque. He has had great years in the past for teams.
Anibal Sanchez. 33. Sanchez still has the stuff to be a quality Starting Pitcher. It was only 2013 where he led the American League with a 2.57 ERA – before regressing to a 3.43 and 4.99 ERA in the 2 years after that.
If he can return to somewhere near his career ERA of 3.70, he should win 12 – 14 games as well.
Mike Pelfrey, 33. #5 guy and for him to eat his innings. Depending on how good he throws, it will mean the club not dipping into the Minor League system. Not a bad little signing, with little risk at just $16 MIL over two seasons.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 31. Salty just has to do better than Alex Avila did the last 2 years. This guy needs to show some pop in splitting the duties up with McCann.
Jordan Zimmermann, 30. If this club has any chance of contending, Zimmermann will have to be a dominant as David Price was for the club. A mid 2 ERA, and for him to challenge for the CY Young award like Price may be tough to duplicate. His stuff translates to a #1 Pitcher if on though.
Yes the team does have several players under the age of 30 as listed position starters in C, James McCann, (RF) J.D. Martinez, (CF) Cameron Maybin, (LF) Anthony Gose and Nick Castellanos at 3B. It just gets blown out of proportion by Kinsler, Cabrera and Martinez.
J.D. Martinez is the best of the under 30’s, where the other players have not lived up to their prospect billings yet.
Daniel Norris might be the only Starting Pitcher to be under 30 on opening day.
So really this club has to remain healthy.
The team does have a ton of money already committed to future payrolls, but has several players coming off the books in 2018 with V-Mart, Maybin, Sanchez and Kinsler have Buyout options, K – Rod and J.D. Martinez will also be Free Agents. Signing Cespedes is still possible under those parameters.
This squad wreaks of .500 right now. I would say 82 – 84 wins. By adding a premiere player, that could add about another 3 to 4 wins. The 2015 club finished a dismal 74 – 87, but were saddled with injuries to key personnel all year.
Detroit lost 9 players for a total sum of nearly $37 MIL in team salary on the Disabled List in 2015. They will need do better than that next season. Although with older players making a lot of money, and aging rapidly, it could be a lot of years on the sick bay before this team improves its outlook.
This franchise better thank its lucky stars it resides in the AL Central right now. They are much like that former champion boxer – who could hit you with a ‘haymaker’ punch and knock you out, or just show their age instead. Somebody ring the bell. Ding. Ding..
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Posted on December 29, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged 2003 detroit tigers, 2016 Detroit Tigers Payroll, 2016 Detroit Tigers Roster, Al Avila, al central, alex avila, alfredo simon, anibal sanchez, cameron maybin, Daniel Norris, david ortiz, david price, francisco rodriguez, ian kinsler, ian krol, j.d. martinez, james mccann, jarrod saltalamacchia, joakim soria, joe nathan, jordan zimmermann, Jose Iglesias, Justin Wilson, mark lowe, miguel cabrera, mike aviles, mike pelfrey, nick castellanos, rajai davis, tom gorzelanny, washington nationals, yoenis cespedes. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.